Author Archives: Andy Daer

Countering the fear factor

Our ancestors were hunter-gatherers who rarely met anyone they didn’t know, and were probably wise to be cautious when they did. In modern cities we are used to seeing strangers by the thousand, but our genetic inheritance is still there, and it is easy to re-awaken the atavistic fear that people who look or sound different might be dangerous. Stirring up racism is part of a simple principle of leadership; tell people there is an external threat and set yourself up as a powerful and angry leader. If the people fear the external threat they will welcome an aggressive masterful …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 109 Comments

Giving voice to the millions who didn’t vote in the Referendum

What happened to the 11.9 million who didn’t vote in the referendum last year?  According to the pro-Brexit lobby’s version of ‘democracy’ they no longer exist.

Non-voters may have been unregistered, uninterested, or too busy to pop in the polling station, and others reckoned their single vote would never matter much and didn’t bother, but there is a core who were confused by the lies and misinformation and didn’t know which way to turn, after a campaign that was shoddy on both sides.

In the last few months the effects of the Brexit vote have started to become clearer.  The pound immediately lost value, banks and other financial institutions are starting to move to other European countries, there are big doubts about the future of aero-space and our foreign-owned car industry, EU citizens are already leaving and creating labour shortages in key industries and services, anti-foreigner rhetoric is making the UK an unfriendly xenophobic place, and forecasts predict a long-lasting downturn in the economy, causing tax revenue reductions which would far outweigh the mythical £350m a week gain.  Brexit champions thrived on stirring up anti-EU feelings but had no plan for the future, apart from a low-tax, low-tariff Poundshop Britain which would horrify most of us, including leave voters.  They had boasted we could easily do advantageous deals with economic super-powers like the USA and China, but the reality is stark; trade agreements take years to negotiate, and we would come off worst in deals with ‘America first’ USA and the equally self-centred China.

Despite all this, the Brexiters claim another referendum would be “anti-democratic”, because “the people have spoken.”  We all seem to be forgetting that 11.9 million didn’t speak.  

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 20 Comments
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    Peter, the former Portugese colony of Macau is one of the wealthiest regions of the world in terms of per capita GDP. It has its...
  • User AvatarGlenn 23rd May - 11:10pm
    Nick Baird I sort of agree, but I associate a lot of the language of identity more with American politics and campus culture than anything...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 23rd May - 9:41pm
    It seems to me there is a sub-text in the idea that 'we should help people in communities to take and use power'. I think...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 23rd May - 9:19pm
    I'm afraid it didn't have the impact of referring to Gordon Brown as Mr. Bean.
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 23rd May - 9:17pm
    @ Richard Underhill "The context could have included the fact that Heath’s predecessor Sir Winston Churchill had offered a Cabinet post to a former Liberal...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 23rd May - 9:05pm
    @ Wlliam Fowler, Governments have complete control over how much they spend – as long as they tax fully to cover the cost of that...